Workplace Wellness

What Unexpected Wellness Perks Should You Offer?

Written by Amber

Step challenges are the bread-and-butter of a workplace wellness employee benefits program. They’re easy to run, easy to track, and employees know exactly what they’re getting into.

But what if you could just as easily offer something more creative? While we love step challenges—they’re currently our most popular type of challenge—we think a well-rounded wellness plan can include so much more.

What Unexpected Wellness Perks Should You Offer?

We took a look at our database, and these are our clients’ most sought-after benefits that aren’t directly related to a gym visit or exercise activity.

Flu Shot Reimbursement

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Yet during the 2016-2017 flu season, more than half of all Americans failed to get the shot (which could account for the high amount of flu-related hospitalizations that year, nearly double from the previous year).

Consider offering flu shot reimbursements or another type of reward to encourage employees to make flu season safety a priority.

Sleep Incentives

There’s only so much that coffee can do: a productive day of work starts with a good night’s rest. Which could explain why some companies now put a premium on healthy sleep.

Take Casper, the popular online mattress retailer. They pay employees up to $60 a month for tracking sleep using IncentFit, in addition to benefits for exercise.

While it’s difficult to set universal guidelines for healthy sleep, offering incremental rewards like Casper’s or gamifying with “sleep challenges” can help employees get in the right mindset to create healthier nighttime habits. Every little bit helps.

Rewards for Annual Exams and Preventative Screenings

Regular health exams are important. While many of us find it difficult to make the time for the doctor if there’s not something noticably wrong, check-ups can help to find or prevent problems before they start.

Try offering a small cash perk with proof of an annual physical, preventative screening, dermatologist visit, or dental cleaning. Some of our clients even host free physicals or biometric screenings on-site once or twice per year. (Though keep in mind, biometric screenings should not be the bulk of your wellness strategy!)

Financial Wellness Benefits

Most Americans are stressed about their finances. A startling fact, but it’s true. While not directly related to health, financial wellness programs can help employees alleviate some of the physical ailments that come along with stress.

“Aside from potentially increased productivity and less absenteeism, this kind of benefit can build goodwill that can not only attract new employees, but help retain workers as well,” writes Kerry Hannon in Forbes.

Lots of companies are now offering financial wellness options as part of the overall benefits, from lunchtime seminars to online resources, or even employer-sponsored savings accounts. In fact, 86% of mid-large sized employers offer financial wellness rewards in order to remain competitive in the labor market. You may also want to strengthen your financial wellness education program, by helping employees educate their children about credit cards for kids, rather than let credit card companies do that job.

Race Reimbursements

We mentioned already that we love step challenges. But it can be difficult to keep that enthusiasm going if “challenge fatigue” sets in.

That’s why one of our favorite reimbursement perks is for road races. Offer a flat rate or a percentage back for race registration, and you’re likely to see more employees signing up for a local 5k. You might even inspire a company race team.

If you’re thinking about workplace wellness, you’re already on the right track. Talk with us about how to build a custom, creative plan that will keep your employees engaged month after month.